HADCA (Howick and District Council for the Care of the Aged) has been in the business of caring for the elderly in Howick and surrounds for over 30 years, and the challenge of ensuring that we keep evolving in order to continually meet the varying needs of the elderly is an ongoing one.
The worldwide trend for some years now, and this continues to be the case, is to encourage elderly residents to continue to reside in their own homes for as long as possible. The benefits of this are obvious, and this is also where community-based carers fill a vital role. HADCA's community based nursing team is kept busy tending to the needs of our elderly in the community, offering regular home visits by a qualified nursing sister, as well as Meals on Wheels and Home Help, for those members of the community too frail or otherwise unable to visit the clinics which are held twice weekly at Greendale House, and once a month at the Howick West service centre.
Alzheimers' and Parkinsons' Diseases are being diagnosed more and more among older folk - simply because we are all living longer. These diseases place a sometimes untenable burden on the caregiver - usually a spouse or adult child. HADCA runs a Parkinsons' support group for sufferers of Parkinsons and their families, as well as a support group for the carers of people suffering from Alzheimers. These support groups are especially beneficial in that those families and carers can be a support to one another, and in so doing are reminded that they are not alone.
There is a large indigent elderly population in the informal settlements in and around Howick, and HADCA's Howick West Service Centre delivers soup lunches to a number of these elderly, Mondays through to Fridays. In addition to these daily soup lunches the staff at the service centre are kept busy 3 days a week providing cooked meals to the regular members who are brought to the centre by taxi.
A new challenge looming on the horizon to challenge HADCA and other institutions who care for the elderly, are the 'Baby Boomers' – yes, many of those hippies and flower children are now well into their 60s, and are starting to think about retirement and retirement villages - “putting their names down” on the ever-growing waiting lists.
Thirty three years ago, when the first HADCA cottages were completed in Elizabeth Gardens, securing a home in the retirement village was reward enough, but now we have the about-to-be-retired baby-boomers with their 2-car; laptop, iPod, Blackberry and Wi-Fi home-office lifestyle - and HADCA must find the ways and means to accommodate this new generation of residents.
HADCA's retirement accommodation consists of 69 retirement cottages at Elizabeth Gardens, 38 cottages at Midmar Gardens, and 26 cottages at Hayfields Gardens.View cottages